From: PDX (and now) London, UK
I also am just learning the dark side. The economy has only shut down once on me for a day when my resources were not meeting demands. Make sure as many resources are flowing in AS POSSIBLE. I've also found they sometimes don't move incredibly well to larger centers like Tokyo, and I have to bring them direct to Osaka, Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama, and Kobe.
As for the Zero, I stupidly began to build the A6M3 when it became available, but no carrier groups upgrade to it, and I didn't research the A6M3a at all. I stopped that quickly. I have put all research for zeros into the A6M5.
I think you'll need more transports, like 20/month. More Jakes, like 30-40, if you plan to upgrade a lot of units to Jakes, and double your Kates and Vals if you plan any offensives in the next year with the KB.
I increased some HI in places on the coasts that always have good access to fuel and resources, like Hong Kong.
If anyone has advice for making sure Manchurian HI keeps enough fuel around to continuously produce I'd be happy to hear it. Mine shuts downs every once in a while even though 30,000 fuel is in Port Arthur and I've stopped using it as 'home port' for the convoys that go there. Anyone?